Combat ‘Burn Pits’ Cause Heath Impairments to Soldiers

by Vins
Published: Updated:


As burn pits become a primary method for waste management on military bases, the process has created concerns about the possible effects on soldiers’ health. Burn pits use constantly running jet fuel to burn human waste, paper, plastic, electronics and other waste. The process creates dangerously harmful fumes and toxins to which the soldiers are exposed.  It now appears that many soldiers are experiencing respiratory and other health complications as a consequence. According to Pentagon officials, there is no specific evidence that these health problems are caused by the burn pits, but many soldiers and doctors are trying to prove them wrong and show that burn pits are the reason they now have health issues.


Sean Dobbin, “Military Burn Pit Claims in Limbo,” USA Today, October 20, 2013,

Katie Drummond, “Combat ‘Burn Pits’ Ruin Immune Systems, Study Shows,” Wired, May 23, 2012,

J. Malcom Garcia, “Burned Out,” The Investigative Fund, November 10, 2011,

Student Researcher: Dana Ensmenger (Indian River State College)

Faculty Evaluator: Elliot Cohen (Indian River State College)